Heard at work

"She's a vegetarian of some kind. I know there are terms for the different kinds of diets... She's either macrobiotic, or what other kind?"

"Macro-obnoxious?"

Sentimental fool

One of our co-workers left the company to take on a new job as an epidemiologist. We all had a going-away party for her, and we passed around a farewell card to sign. I didn't know her that well, so I hope she took it in the intended spirit when I wrote, "Good luck Wendy; whenever I think of epidemiology, I'll think of you."

Don't know any better

One economic indicator from back in my hometown: The wife in a family of four has gotten a job at the local jail, working as a guard. The husband talked about her first week on the job, how as she walked past the cells, the inmates behaved like animals, flinging urine, feces, and every other possible kind of bodily fluid or substance at her. The husband's voice assumed a hushed tone as he finished: "... and after twenty-five years, she gets a pension!"

Before this, it was already depressing to drive down the main drag and remember how it used to be, with big business and colorful neon at night, replaced nowadays by "Everything Under a Dollar!" stores, and Rent-a-Centers with painted wooden signs out front instead of costly illuminated signs. The city has changed since the manufacturing and heavy industry left, but there will always be the opportunities of the service economy for that family of four; they're too young to remember what I saw.

Every life needs a little drama now and then

Refinance My Mortgage or Die Tryin'

Get Shiny, Healthy Hair or Die Tryin'

Plant Those Rose Bushes or Die Tryin'

Finish the New Readers' Digest or Die Tryin'

Caulk the Bathtub or Die Tryin'